Love and suspense in Tornatore’s new title La migliore offerta
by Vittoria Scarpa
18/07/2012 - A story of changing love in the world of auctioneering, with touches of suspense, a central European flavour and an international cast. This sums up the new film from Giuseppe Tornatore (photo) La migliore offerta (“The Best Offer”) , which ended its shoot last week. Directed in English, but 100% Italian produced (Paco Cinematografica in association with Warner Bros. Italia and Unicredit), the film stars Australian actor Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech [trailer, film focus]) as Virgil Oldman, an English auctioneer who undergoes a deep transformation. “It is not a film about auctioneering, that is the backdrop,” explains the Sicilian filmmaker who was presenting a three-minute making of in Rome today. “It is especially a story of love told a little like a detective film, but without the investigators or the murders."
The film’s shoot lasted 13 weeks in Vienna, Trieste, Bolzano, Parma, Milan, Prague and Rome (“but Prague is the only explicit place at the end of the film, for the rest we didn’t want to identify one specific city,” the director said.). La migliore offerta will also star Canadian actor Donald Sutherland (Billy, an old friend of Virgil), British actor Jim Sturgess (Robert, a skilful restorer) and Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks (Claire, a client at the auction rooms).
For a film that marks a rupture from Tornatore’s previous works, in particular the personal Baarìa [trailer], which was a work in the making for years, the director says it was an “old idea from my early years in Rome” but which “wouldn’t have worked with the Italian setting and our actors”. On speaking of Italian cinema, the Oscar winner didn’t mince his words regarding the future of Cinecittà, saying that “The idea that a place like Cinecittà could become something different from what it was is unacceptable. But we cannot accept either the state it is in today, a space where nothing no longer happens. It needs a revival.”
La migliore offerta opens on Italian screens on January 4, 2013 through Warner Italia, who is also handling the German release. The film has already been pre-sold by Australia and the Benelux; and agreements are about to be signed with the US, France and the UK.
(Translated from Italian)